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UIO Planespotting, Vulcanoes And The Galapagos  
User currently offlineHBIHLtoEZE From Switzerland, joined Aug 2004, 282 posts, RR: 2
Posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 10428 times:

Part II:

I allow to include some pictures I took at Quito's Mariscal Sucre airport during my stay in Ecuador's capital (June 21 - June 26). Plane photography is easy at UIO: on the one hand all aircraft fly over the city on approach - one just has the find the right position and the metal birds roar above one's head - on the other hand, there are many possibilities around the airport itself: next to the airport fence's posts are gaps through which a tele lens fits well. I did not have any problems at all and was not bothered. I took pictures at UIO six years ago - and it was pretty much like then: not too much traffic, but some real beauties, especially three-holers and 737-200s:


Airport overview from the fence, look at the uneven taxiway!


TAME E-jet in a great livery. There is something different than Eurowhite!


Aerogal's single 727, HC-CDJ - a 227 version. This aircraft had some illustrious owners during its life: Braniff, PeopleExpress, Continental, Delta and Cambodia Airlines. I must admit I was close to tears of joy...




The beauty is hush-kitted and supposed to meet the Stage III-regulations. It still sounded the way a 727 has to sound, however, joyfully and gracefully thundering...oh man, what a sound! This is how I remember the airport visits from the 1980s...


A sleek wingletted AA 757, N177AN, lining up...



Another 727, a freighter from Colombia, HK-4354, LAS Lineas Aereas Suramericanas.



An aircraft that has to be heard of...


Aerogal's HC-CFG, Boeing 737-281, a former Westjet and All Nippon machine.


One of my favourites: the mighty MD-11, in this case KLM's PH-KCD 'Florence Nightingale'





Santa Barbara's new colors certainly look good (YV2242).


So does AV's MD-83 EI-CEQ in these special colours.



I am very satisfied with the TAME 727 shots. All good things come in threes I guess. Three 727s in one day- that made my day.



Boeing 727-2T3 HC-BHM was delivered in 1980 and continues to go strong and look stunning...


AV colours look good on any kind of plane. New A319.


Nice aircraft...the only place I have seen this species, the BAe748, is UIO in 2002 and now again.


Aerogal's Nescafé logojet...


Icaro's Fokker F28 Fellowship sporting the colours of football club Barcelona - and a football nose (like LH did during the World Cup 2006).





Aerogal's HC-CFG overhead: the 737-200 looks less compact this way, more elegant.

During my stay in Quito I organized my trip to the Galapagos and went trekking for a day in Cotopaxi National Park, leading me up to over 5,000 metres (16,404 ft). I love hiking and this was a test if I was able to cope with this kind of altitude. As I was well acclimatized after a couple of days in Quito (2,850 metres) I did not have any problems, even though the air was of course noticeably thin up there...the guide accompanying our group wanted to talk me over to climb to the peak of Cotopaxi the following week (5,897 m (19,347 ft)). I declined for now but I think there is a good chance that I return quite soon. We were lucky when the mighty vulcano quickly appeared out of the clouds for a very short time:


Anyway, the next morning, I flew to the Galapagos.

Segment 7:

Date: June 26, 2008
Route: UIO - GYE - GPS
Aircraft: Embraer 190 HC-CGF
Flight: EQ191 07:30 - 09:45
Seat: 5A

The agency I booked the tour with uses TAME - so I flew with their brandnew (6-month-old) HC-CGF Embraer 190 to the Galapagos.
Check-in was somewhat lame and complicated - tour groups were clogging the departure hall with their luggage and there were only one guide per 30 pieces of luggage or so. I had to wait until all the tour group luggage was tagged before I could check in. This experience was annyoing and I had to queue for almost 60 minutes even though I was two hours prior to the indicated flying time at UIO. Anyway, as soon as I boarded the magnificent E-jet I had swallowed all my anger as the conditions were ideal: the sky was clear and all vulcanoes were to be seen from the air...what a way to start a Galapagos tour!


Cotopaxi seen from the airport.


US Air Force Globemaster III.


The flight was a real scenic flights - I was thrilled to finally see the vulcanoes from the air. On previous flights between the Ecuadorian coast and the highland the only view was thick clouds...



Illiniza and Chimborazo, Ecuador's highest peak in the background. While trying to climb onto Chimborazo Humboldt first described the symptoms of altitude sickness.


HC-CGF's winglet and Cotopaxi's crater.


Landing at GYE...a short stop for about 30 minutes.


Baltra island, north of Santa Cruz island, where I arrived on the Galapagos.




Baltra airport (GPS) - with the Galapagos icons...


The spotless E-Jet HC-CGF. The flight was quiet, the view wonderful. We were given a breakfast that was decent and even contained fruit salad besides the usual sugary stuff.
All in all a very pleasant experience on TAME.


EQ191 was the first of four daily flights getting into GPS (two Aerogal and TAME each).


I am still not quite sure if I should regret not having flown on the later flight...as it was on TAME's last 727 (see above).

Anway, I had a wonderful time during this short 4-day trip around the Galapagos. Not only did I catch a glimpse of the peculiar wildlife, but I also met some great people on board our yacht and had some interesting talks. As I wrote at the beginning of part I I have always wanted to visit these islands, be it for the myth' sake (I do consider myself a Darwinist to a certain degree - with a heart and mind though), be it for the special wildlife - anyway, a dream of mine came true. Please allow to show me some of the creatures I came across:


Blue-footed booby.


Fish chasing fish.



Pelicanos in action.


Cute red-necked lizzard looking at the strangers (The animals would look but are not shy - why being shy when there are no enemies?).


View from Bartolome island...


Galapagos penguins...


Marine iguanas...





Galapagos sea lions. The big one, the male, is certainly a real hooligan...


Galapagos heron...


Galapagos turtle (on a farm from where they are expatriated again. The horse gives an idea how huge this reptiles are).

I was fascinated by the wildlife and the volcanic landscape. As I have seen only few parts I guess I have to return...there are some vulcanos on the biggest island, Isabella, that can be ascended, too...

The flight back to the mainland was on TAME's A320 HC-CDY. As the flight was full the flight was a bit less pleasant than the way to the islands - my neighbour was a bit obnoxious, hitting his elbows into my ribs, more than once. Nevertheless, the A320 once more proved to be an excellent plane. The flight was smooth and I fell asleep soon after take off.

Segment 7:

Date: June 29, 2008
Route: GPS - GYE - UIO
Aircraft: Airbus A320 HC-CDY
Flight: EQ192 12:45 - 16:45
Seat: 27A

Before boarding I took a couple of shots at Baltra (GPS):



Aerogal sending their 727 and a 737-200...in 2008!






Shortly after take off of EQ192...



Landing at GYE...



HC-CGF pulliing in next to HC-CDY at GYE, TA N491TA and HC-CER behind (I have flown on all three planes during my trip).


Taking off over Guyaquil....


The Andes were covered by cotton again this time...


The approach onto UIO was from the opposite site time. The photo shows that 'city airport' is really the right term for this aeropuerto.


We pulled in next to these Dornier beauties with AV tails (belonging to Ecuadorian company VIP).

I spent one more night in Quito before I started my long trip back home...

more in Part III.

Thanks four your comments and criticism.



Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFlynavy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 10322 times:

I've always wanted to visit UIO and GYE and your pictures have made me want to visit even more now!

The wildlife pictures are stunning! Perhaps I'll make it to GPS sometime as well.

Is spotting at UIO fairly straight forward and easy? Any trouble from the local authorities?

User currently offlineBrusselsSouth From Belgium, joined Aug 2001, 633 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 10241 times:

Wow, amazing pictures !

The light at UIO is not the best, but the nice background compensates for the dull weather.

I especially like the photos of the volcanoes and the wildlife, and those of the aircraft with the cactus in front. The ones with the BAe 748 and the Nescafe logojet are fine too.

Thanks for publishing them.


User currently offlineStylo777 From Turkey, joined Feb 2006, 3142 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 10151 times:

really amazing pictures! good job!
also a very good TR, thanks for sharing...

User currently offlineMexicana757 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 3067 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 9817 times:


An amazing trip report. You took a lot of great pictures.  bigthumbsup   bigthumbsup   bigthumbsup 

I really want to visit Ecuador. I love the pictures of the wildlife in the Galapagos.

User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7459 posts, RR: 60
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 9746 times:
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One of the most unique TRs Ive ever read. Thanks so much!

Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineMyk From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 9662 times:

I love those unusual tripreports.
Really great to see different parts of the world with such Pictures. I think I should try to get there one day.
Anyway, many thanks for this tripreport.

User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5243 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 9645 times:

Hi there,

great story and especially pix.
Love your UIO shots from the fence, but the Galapagos population, also not bad.

Thanx for posting,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

User currently offlineLHR27C From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 1279 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 9508 times:

Excellent report, well done! Looks like you had the circle-to-land approach onto runway 17 at UIO.

This brings back some very fresh memories, as I just got back yesterday from a two week holiday in Ecuador and the Galapagos. In fact I flew out on Tame to GPS from UIO just 3 days after you flew the return. We had HC-CDY on the way out and HC-CGF on the way back.

Didn't manage to do any spotting at UIO but I did also fly on the FK28 with the Barcelona colours to OCC and back. Got the cockpit jumpseat on the A320 into Baltra, briefly on the E190 to GYE, and FK28 both ways too, so I'll try and upload a TR shortly.

Did you take the photo of the giant tortoise at that farm on Santa Cruz, that you take a bus from Pto Ayora to get to?

Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned forever skyward
User currently offlineHBIHLtoEZE From Switzerland, joined Aug 2004, 282 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 9488 times:

Thanks a lot for your encouraging words!

Quoting Flynavy (Reply 1):
Is spotting at UIO fairly straight forward and easy? Any trouble from the local authorities?

Inside the terminal (after taking a shot of a AV 757) I was told not to take pictures...outside the fence I was not bothered at all. One security guard (who has its own cabin not far from where I took the pics) noticed my doing but did not care...one older gentleman harshly told me to stop to take pics as there were 'bandidos' around...

A guy I met on the Galapagos was robbed at UIO airport one week after I passed through losing all his pics...be careful when going there and always on alert is the answer to avoid these things I guess.

Quoting BrusselsSouth (Reply 2):
The light at UIO is not the best, but the nice background compensates for the dull weather.

Yes, it was rather dull unfortunately when I was at UIO. Light at this altitude can be gorgeous, however it is often overcast - it lends the pics a certain dramatic touch though...

Quoting LHR27C (Reply 8):
Did you take the photo of the giant tortoise at that farm on Santa Cruz, that you take a bus from Pto Ayora to get to?

Exactly, that is the farm. It was the last stop on our tour...

Looking forward to your TR.



Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
User currently offlineWPIAeroGuy From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 332 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 9466 times:

Awesome report and pictures. I'd never even heard of SBA before, but they have a great livery.

South/Central America looks like a great place to go spotting, I'll be down there in a few weeks hopefully I'll see some good stuff!

User currently offlinePumaknight From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 9373 times:

Fantastic post - those pictures are excellent. And wow, did you see a variety of aircraft....awesome!!

User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 9353 times:

What was the temperature in Galapagos? Great pictures. Always wanted to go to Ecuador / Galapagos. Thanks.

User currently offlineKent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 1033 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 9269 times:

Stunning pics - planes and wildlife! Thank you so much for posting.


User currently offlinePlunaCRJ From Uruguay, joined Nov 2007, 581 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 9188 times:

Nice pics!

Just three days ago I returned home from Ecuador, where I visited Cuenca, Quito, Guayaquil and Galapagos (flying to Baltra).

Stunning country, and your pics truly show how pretty it is.

During my trip, I got to fly on HC-BHM "Cotopaxi", Tame´s 727, GYE-UIO. I feel quite lucky about that flight on a 727, and I´ll post a TR about it shortly.

Unfortunately, my while time in continental Ecuador was cloudy, so I didn´t catch any glimpse of snow while there.


User currently offline5YKQW From Kenya, joined Feb 2007, 44 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 9137 times:

one of the best postings ever on this site. Great spotting pics and what a holiday u had.

User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17790 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9122 times:

Brilliant TR

Like all the pics.

A really nice read from another part of this world.

Thank you for sharing


Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1211 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9121 times:


Excellent TR and pictures.

I love the pictures of the Galapagos and its inhabitants, really stunning.

Three years ago I visited Patagonia and had the opportunity to visit a penguin island next to Punta Arenas.... astonishing.



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineHBIHLtoEZE From Switzerland, joined Aug 2004, 282 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9052 times:

Thanks again for the encouraging feedback,

Quoting Semsem (Reply 12):
What was the temperature in Galapagos?

Air temperature was a lovely 25 - 30 degrees Celsius (in the night it was warm enough to have a couple of beers with fellow travellers on the roof of the yacht under a starry sky, which was a wonderful thing to do, cheers to a special lady on that occasion
   ) while water temperature can be quite cool, under 20 degrees C. As I am used to swimming in Swiss lakes that can be even colder by some degrees I did not mind. Some fellow travellers, however, had purple lips after snorkeling...

The Humboldt current brings cooler water - and more food like plankton and more fish - without that cool current the Galapagos would not have that kind of abundance of wildlife.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 17):
Three years ago I visited Patagonia and had the opportunity to visit a penguin island next to Punta Arenas

And the current is probably responsible for the fact that there are penguins at all. They are known to be the most northerly penguins - usually they live much more in the south such as in Patagonia. I might have visited the same island, too, Rogerbcn, in the 1980s, however, as a five-year-old when the penguins were almost as big as me...thank you for bringing back memories.



[Edited 2008-07-17 13:40:08]

Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8743 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8883 times:
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Nice report and pictures, thanks, really enjoyed your travels.

Quoting HBIHLtoEZE (Thread starter):
Airport overview from the fence

- Nice views  Smile

Quoting HBIHLtoEZE (Thread starter):
Cotopaxi seen from the airport

- Impressive picture, really like this one.

Quoting HBIHLtoEZE (Thread starter):
I am still not quite sure if I should regret not having flown on the later flight...as it was on TAME's last 727

- I think I'd have gone for the 727...............

Quoting HBIHLtoEZE (Thread starter):
I was fascinated by the wildlife and the volcanic landscape

- Looks real interesting from the pictures.



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